Next day morning i woke up to the sounds of guess what ,RAINS. With the floods in Karnataka worsening, i thought it wise to get back when i still had a chance. I had heard good things about the food at Astoria at Assagoan, 5 kms from Mapusa. They also distill their own palm feni, which apparently is much better than what’s available locally. (Ph. 91-832-262186). The food definitely lived upto its billing. On vacations i generally loose track of dates and it was a jarring return to the calendar when i was told that today is 2nd October and hence there was no feni up for sale. So long my feni:(.
After lunch, i started the return trip. The route back was going to be Mapusa–>Karwar–>Honnavar–>Jog Falls–>Shimoga–>Arsikere–>Bangalore with night stay at Karwar.As i kept going south i encountered a few places which had lots of water flowing on the road but nothing un-passable. And then i reached Canacona. Here there was a serpentine queue of vehicles and in front of them laid the tragedy. A culvert had been breached by the raging waters . An alto was washed away, a house was badly damaged and truck was almost submerged. The worst part was that there were still a couple of people who were trapped inside the house and were hanging on for their dear life.
Rescue efforts were on but the water was in no mood to relent. Finally a motor boat arrived and after about half n hour the rescue was successfully completed. People waited at the spot until nightfall hoping that the water would subside and we could make it to the other side. Even the Chief Minister arrived at the spot as NH17 is one of the major lifelines of Goa. But there was no letup in the water level and by 6:30PM efforts for the days were called off. I’d to go upto Madgaon in search for a place to stay.
The next day morning, there were no confirmed reports that the road had opened. I waited until 10AM and then decided to go ahead. About 20kms into the journey, the bike suddenly stopped. In-spite of all my efforts it just would not start. I pushed for a couple of kms to the nearest garage but the mechanic refused to repair it. Because of the heavy rains his house had collapsed and he was devastated. So i again started pushing. The electrical connections had given way because of the huge amount of rain that the bike had been subjected to for the last 10 days.
The Canacona breach had been repaired but there was another minor breach about 10kms down the road. Had to wait for about an hour before this breach could be crossed.
After that it was apparently smooth sailing . Everything around was filled upto the brim and even the sea water had turned muddy. Finally reached Jog falls by 6PM. Due to the floods Jog falls was humongous. Damn the rains that i could not even get a shot :(.
Started making my way towards Shimoga by 6:30. Suddenly the thought of spending another night in these wet clothes at a hotel room sounded unbearable. So decided to go the full hog and drive all the way to Bangalore. Driving a bike at night is never pleasant and this one was going to last the whole night. It was as tough as expected.
Finally reached Bangalore by 4AM, half asleep.